What actually makes Springfield so timeless? Matt Groening spills the beans on the show’s best kept secret.

One of the most successful television shows ever made, a constant joke in The Simpsons is the resistance on the creator’s part to actually reveal where in the United States the show is set. That may have changed with a new reveal by Matt Groening, BBC News reports:

Mr Groening also said he was inspired by the TV show Father Knows Best, which was set in a place called Springfield.

But the Springfield in Oregon is just 100 miles (160km) south of Portland, the city where Mr Groening grew up.

The Simpsons has sometimes given false answers to the question of Springfield’s true location, leaving open the possibility that Mr Groening’s latest comments are a continuation of the joke.

“Whenever people say it’s Springfield, Ohio, or Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, wherever, I always go: ‘Yup, that’s right,'” Mr Groening said.

In one episode, Marge and Homer Simpson’s precocious daughter Lisa points to Springfield on a map, but the audience’s view is obscured by Bart Simpson’s head.

It appears that the town of Springfield, Oregon, has known of its connection to the sitcom since 2007, when Mr Groening visited before the release of The Simpsons Movie.

“Oh, okay, we knew that,” a community relations manager told the Associated Press when she heard about Mr Groening’s latest comments.

Is doubt part of what makes Springfield timeless? What makes The Simpsons endure might be how it deliberately eschews reality while obviously drawing deeply from the groundswell of American culture, the same way that the Grand Theft Auto games take place in places inspired by iconic American cities, but still remain their own works of fiction. It gives a space, however imaginary, its own history and mythology, which is crucial for any good story. 

[via BBC News]